Now that the University of Illinois has announced that there will be classes held in person, on campus, and that there will be students living on campus again, what are the current policies for Hendrick House in terms of reservations for the 2020-2021 school year?
Hendrick House will be open for students to live with us, and to provide meals to them if they do, starting in August, 2020. Our usual move-in date is a week or so before the scheduled start of the semester, but this year we will allow earlier move-in, if desired. In fact, we encourage earlier arrival if possible to stagger arrival and allow some time for “residing in place” prior to the school year starting – if possible. Please contact us by phone or email for more information and rates.
We will also continue to work closely with the entire Private Certified Housing (PCH) organization and UIUC to ensure all of our policies are as similar as possible to the other housing facilities on campus as possible, though there will be some differences. More updates around such circumstances will be found on our website: www.hendrickhouse.com/COVID19/ as things evolve.
If classes start in-person, but are later cancelled during the fall semester or next spring, will we still be responsible for the remainder of the contract? If the full contract is paid ahead, will we receive pro-rated reimbursement of our housing and meal plans?
One of the advantages of our fee payment approach (10 equal payments, spread over nearly a year with no additional fees) is that it’s relatively easy for us to react quickly to the situation if it again changes, and this also minimizes your risk of “paying ahead”. This spring we were able to simply waive the final payment due for most of our residents who left and then were unable to return. We’ll have to wait and respond to a new situation when it happens, but we will again do all we can to be fair and reasonable to all our residents.
How will meals be served safely?
Hendrick House Food Service has been working to make sure we adhere to social distance and other health and safety guidelines. At the same time, we want students to have options with nutritious and high-quality food. In addition to the dining room, we have added a new grab and go location where your meal plan will be accepted. There will also be a new On-The-Go Boxed Meal option, as well. You have the option of taking your meal back to your room or eat in a sanitized socially distanced space. But keep in mind there will be fewer public spaces open and less furniture to accommodate students, so we recommend the best option is taking your meal back to your room).
You’ll notice new entrances and exits in the dining areas to help keep everyone at a safe distance. Please be patient with us during peak mealtimes. The goal is to get everyone safely through the lines as quickly as possible. As area health department and government standards continue to evolve over the coming months, we will make additional modifications and accommodations as needed to ensure our residents are provided with the safest, healthiest, and most nutritious meal choices possible.
Will the gym/exercise room be available?
The Hendrick House fitness center is now open! Residents must sign up to use the fitness center and, only two people will be allowed to use the fitness center at a time. Residents are also required to observe social distancing and other good safety practices when using the space, and clean up after themselves when done.
Does the heating system at Hendrick House circulate air throughout the building?
The two main housing areas of Hendrick House were built at different times, and as a result, use different heating/cooling systems.
Our newer west tower uses hot or cool water for heating and cooling, so aside from fresh air from outside which is supplied to the entire building to replace what’s removed through bathroom vents, air is not circulated room to room.
Our east building uses “forced air” for heating and cooling, so there is some movement of air from room to room. However, each floor is broken up into four zones, each of which has its own system. As a result, no more than seven rooms are on one furnace. The common areas of the east building work similarly. As with the west building, additional, fresh outside air is also added to the entire building, again to replace the air pulled out of the building by bathroom vent fans.
Neither of these approaches results in air which is “sanitized” or “sterilized” in any way, but the entire building is always being supplied with fresh outside air, and air being circulated between rooms is somewhat limited.
In addition – though we prefer that they be left closed for better heating and cooling efficiency, all rooms have windows which can be opened somewhat if needed.